But is there any chance at all that the discussion has shifted in any meaningful way in the years that people (including me) have complained about it?
There are many - MANY - things that people can complain about concerning the site. But this is literally the worst thing. And incredibly easy to fix. It doesn't need to be looked into or anything like that. It could be fixed tomorrow.
I think I'd respect the site more if they just said "We're doing this for the ad revenue and don't give a crap about how incredibly annoying it is. We need that revenue and we're going to keep doing it."
Own it please?